About this Cheoy Lee
A happy blend of teak and fiberglass, of good design and careful craftsmanship, this comfortable sloop proves to be as handsome to handle as she is to look at. (excerpt from Boating Magazine in December 1966).
Cheoy Lee Shipyards originally out of Hong Kong, no longer builds the small and mid-size yachts it engaged in during those early years. But their solid reputation continues on with the mega yachts it builds today.
This boat is a 1965 Cheoy Lee Offshore 27 sloop, yard #1547. This means that she is the 1,547th boat built by Cheoy Lee. She is a blue water full keel sailboat, with a cutaway forefoot and keel-mounted rudder. She has been upgraded considerably over the years, and could now be considered a comfortably outfitted coastal cruiser.
I’m the third owner of this boat and have owned her since July 1999. I bought her in almost original condition out of Seattle and relocated her to Portland, Oregon. I sailed her on the Columbia River for two years, then moved her to a boatyard for extensive upgrades and restoration.
She was in that boatyard for the following three years undergoing system upgrades and a new coat of paint. The story of Magnolia, another Cheoy Lee of this boat’s vintage, pictured on Don Casey’s first edition of This Old Boat, inspired me immensely during this period. I re-named her Bisous during this time (pronounced bee-zoo), a French term for the little kisses given upon meeting or parting, and started this chronicle of my years with her.
In addition to my original plan for a new coat of paint and better engine controls when she went into the boatyard, I plunged into a huge overhaul over the next three years, during which she had all essential systems upgraded as described in this chronicle of this amazing boat.
After these upgrades were completed, she was moored on the Columbia River in Portland until 2015, after which she was moved to the pastoral Multnomah Channel. Additional upgrades, modifications, and restoration have been ongoing throughout the years I’ve owned this boat, all of which have been in the spirit of the original design of the boat.
The sails for this boat are the same ones that came with her in 1999: an older main and jib, and a newer genoa. This boat was never rigged for a spinnaker. She has her original Edson pedestal and wheel, to which I’ve added a new compass, Edson controls, a wheel brake, and a pedestal guard for the radar display. The Furuno radar and GPS is new. Her pushpit is new because she had none when I acquired her so that her lifelines ended at the aft toe rail. All the AC and DC wiring is new with a new panel in the saloon. A gimbaled Origo two-burner alcohol stove replaces the original propane stove that no longer functioned. The four cabin deadlights are new. The original house teak veneer was removed due to rot and replaced with FRP panels. The head compartment has been modified to isolate the toilet from the v-berth bunk and a holding tank has been added. A proper chain locker has been fabricated in the forepeak. All new internal bunk cushions have been installed. The original cockpit cushions are in great condition.
Remaining issues involve small leaks at both hatches, a somewhat-rotted bulkhead in the starboard cockpit locker that butts up to the ice box, and finish prep and painting of the entire cockpit. Her last haulout was in September 2012 for bottom paint, repositioning the boot stripe, and stepping the mast. The mast was last refinished in the summer of 2015.
Bisous is now for sale, although I continue to work on her below deck, which has been my focus this year. I am making the bunk cushions I’d started many years ago, painting and putting the cabins to right.